Saturday, September 16, 2006


I cannot tell a lie: my two weeks work experience at The Observer has not, at times, been all it was cracked up to be. Up until today I would say the sum total of my time actaully spent on WORK would be around an hour, maybe two.

(On the flip side I have managed to get an awful lot of stupid little essential jobs done that otherwise would not have been had I been at home or in Brighton. I've opened a bank acount, written several pieces for Subculture, applied for jobs and more work experience and sorted out the broadband for the new house.)

But then there's today, a day that has gone so far beyond anything I could have expected. I'm buzzing, I seriously am. Let me tell the long story, rather than the short one.

Last night was Franner's birthday do. Because the last sodding tube was at 12.30 (In one of the busiest, supposedly most cosmopolitan cities in the world. What a motherflumping joke) I had intened to just go out briefly to the boy's and come home and not spend the night sleeping on the floor using a hand towel as a blanket. I'd been feeling rough (and you know how much worse a cold is for a chap) and just wanted bed, with maybe a sprinkling of The OC.

But you know how I am. And how these things are. They just don't work out like that do they? Let's be honest I was never going to head home after an hour.

We were originally supposed to go to Button Down Disco at 93FeetEast but it got too late for that. I was having a good time anyway, scaring people I'd never met and chatting obnoxiously as I am wont to do. Then some girl called Lizzie (who I'm sure is lovely really but in that environment she just came across as a fit-but-you-know-it posh bint) decided that everyone was going to go to a club callled Turnmills in Farringdon - just across from The Observer actually - and was clearly one not used to not getting her own way. I said no. But not actively enough to influence others. And there were several others. But I was not goign to spend £15 getting into somewhere I had no interest in going to.

So I dragged my feet a bit, along with the other less enthusiastic folks and we'd missed the tube so it just wasn't happening. We went for a scuffle in a patch of scrubland and Francis went dustbin surfing down the road. Party on Ted!

So back to Francis' gaff (my word this is a very roundabout way of making a point, which I haven't even gotten to yet and might not even exist) and more beer, Mexican coffee and suddenly its 4.30am and I'm making bacon sandwiches for all.

The floor it is. Sleeping bag rather than towelette and sofa cushions to cushion but I had 4 hours before I had to get up. Bugger.

But get up I do. Borrow a fetching green shirt from Francis without his knowledge and on my way.

And actions stations almost from the off. Robin tasks me with writing an information panel for his big ass feature on biofuels. It takes a lot longer than it should and i start to sweat. But it gets done. After a few frighteningly cantankerous celtic barksI find some information.

Lunch. £6 for a steak sounds good but rib-eye is a crap cut of cow.

And then it kicks off. "I want this 600 word report turned into 200 words of interesting writing." growls the Scotsman. Now THIS is work. I read the piece on 'Pester Power' again and again (actually, having said that, I'm not sure I read the whole thing in one go at all) find what I think are the most pertinent points and attempt ot write something decent. Not sure if I succeed. Not sure if it's going. Not sure if that's even the point.

The point is I'm doing it. That's not TRYING to be a journalist, that's BEING a journalist. The sweat, the pressure, the deadline, the being shouted at. Before last week I THOUGHT I wanted to do this, now I know for sure. And I really think I can be good at it. BUt that's not the end of my day's excitement.

Shortly after this Robin throws a photo in front of me and demands 100 words on Open House London REALLY, REALLY quickly. Thank God for being friends with "archies" eh? Cos I actually know something about this.

Quick as you like 100 words - and specifically, 100 good words - emerge before Robin has even had the opportunity to hassle me. I'm pleased with what I've done. it's not much but this is one instance where size really doesn't matter. (Because of course, in all other areas, size is VERY important.)

And my name is in the paper again. But this time I feel no neet to blast everyone with an email because what I've done today feels self-validating. If people read it then great. I'll have a few copies but my ego isn't gonna overtake me as it did before.

This is what I want. This is what i can do.

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